The impact and opportunities of covid 19

October 2020

CEO Sven Van Hout on the changing society and how SERIS is responding to it

During Shopt IT, the online fair where Stijn Verheyden, ICT Project Manager at SERIS Belgium, addressed the public on the dangers of cyber crime, our CEO Sven Van Hout was interviewed by Hanne Decoutere, news presenter with the VRT. Amongst other things, he spoke of the effects of the crisis on SERIS and its staff, but also of the opportunities which have arisen. The corona figures and the resulting measures change every day, but the impact and future perspectives for SERIS remain the same. Here’s a summary.

Each SERIS department experiences the crisis differently

The changes in society as a result of covid 19 have had a different impact on each of our departments. For SERIS Security, for instance, it has meant more and less work. On the one hand, there are clients who have closed their corporate premises so that security was no longer necessary. On the other hand, we’ve been able to deploy our officers in different locations where increased measures were in force, such as in supermarkets and shopping centres. That has kept the work flow in balance for Security, but things have been different for our SERIS Technology staff. They install high-tech equipment such as security cameras or intrusion detection systems. Since many of our clients’ sites are closed, they have a heavy backlog which they are now working hard on in order to catch up. 


Administrative work from home as much as possible

When the government imposes a rule that those who can work from home must do so, that obviously doesn’t apply to our security officers. Security is a vital sector where physical presence is essential. However, for administrative and support services such as finance and HR, we can switch over largely to working from home. Once the rules are eased again, we can operate a rotation system to ensure that there aren’t too many people in the office at once. In the meantime, we’ve developed that routine to the full.


Seizing new opportunities with both hands

Thankfully, we’re also seeing new challenges for SERIS. As society gets back into gear, we’ll all have to take account of stricter measures constantly. This requires extra security. Take event security, for instance. When the event sector gets back into gear, it will certainly be with new measures to which we have to respond.


What happens after covid 19?

When the crisis is over, we won’t be returning immediately to the old way of working. We’ll be applying things which we’ve learnt. As regards digitalisation and corporate processes, for instance, we’ve had to adapt quickly. Until now, like many other companies, we’ve been an organisation where everyone worked in an office. Working from home has compelled us to refine so that we’re now geared to a combination situation of home workers and staff who remain in the office. It’s essential for companies to be corona-proof and homework-proof. It’s essential to be able to keep your company running remotely with a big group of people.


Thanks to our staff

So far, 2020 has been a much-discussed year in many respects. As regards our staff, I’d like to say I’m really proud of them for their flexibility and the fact that we can still offer tailored solutions in challenging times. Clients can still count on our expertise. We are still fully committed to offering them the best security solutions. We’re ready for the future!